An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3, North East. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1922.
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27. FORDHAM. (C.c.)
(O.S. 6 in (a)xviii. S.W. (b)xxvii. N.W.)
Fordham is a parish 5 m. N.W. of Colchester. The church is the principal monument.
b(1). Parish Church of All Saints stands in the S. part of the parish. The walls are mainly of flint and pebble-rubble with some Roman and later brick, the dressings are of Barnack and soft limestone; the roofs are tiled or covered with lead. The whole church was rebuilt in the 14th century, beginning with the Chancel c. 1330 and followed by the Nave and North and South Aisles, South Porch, and the lower part of the West Tower, c. 1340. The upper part of the tower was finished late in the same century. In the 16th century the S. aisle and porch and part of the N. aisle were refaced or rebuilt. In the 18th century the W. side of the tower was much damaged, perhaps by the fall of a spire, and early in the 19th century the greater part of the bell-chamber was rebuilt.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (27½ ft. by 20 ft.) has a mid 14th-century E. window with a two-centred head and a moulded label; the tracery is modern. In the N. wall are two mid 14th-century windows, partly restored, and each of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. In the S. wall are three windows of which the two eastern are uniform with those in the N. wall; the westernmost window is a single trefoiled light, probably of the same date; E. of it is a mid 14th-century doorway with chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and label. The mid 14th-century chancel-arch is two-centred and of two chamfered orders; the responds are semi-octagonal and have moulded capitals and bases, partly cut away.
The Nave (39 ft. by 20 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of three bays and of similar date and character to the chancel-arch; the columns are octagonal and the arches bear some evidence of having been rebuilt. The clearstorey has on each side three trefoiled windows of mid 14th-century date.
The North Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has an E. window, all modern externally but with splays and four-centred rear-arch of the 15th century. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern of mid 14th-century date and of two trefoiled ogee lights with a quatrefoil in a two-centred head; the western window is uniform with that in the E. wall; further W. is the N. doorway probably of the 13th century reset; it has moulded jambs and two-centred arch. In the W. wall is a window all modern externally but with splays and rear-arch probably of the 14th century.
The South Aisle (11½ ft. wide) has an E. window all modern except parts of the jambs, the splays and rear-arch which are probably of the 15th century; the recess is carried down below the sill. In the S. wall are two windows uniform with the 15th-century windows in the N. aisle but with some old stones in the jambs; further W. is the 15th-century S. doorway with stop-moulded jambs and two-centred arch. In the W. wall is a window uniform with the corresponding window in the N. aisle.
The West Tower (10 ft. square) is of three stages, undivided externally and with a modern parapet. The 14th-century tower-arch is two-centred and of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner resting on attached semi-octagonal shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window is modern except perhaps the splays and rear-arch. In the second stage in the S. wall is a single trefoiled light probably of the 14th century. The bell-chamber has in the N. wall a window formerly of two cinquefoiled lights in a two-centred head, but now without its mullion; it is probably of the 14th century. In the S. and W. walls are modern windows.
The South Porch has a 15th-century outer archway with a moulded, two-centred arch and label; the moulded jambs have attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The side walls have each a 14th-century window of two trefoiled ogee lights with a cusped spandrel in a two-centred head with a moulded label and head-stops.
The Roof of the chancel is ceiled but has 14th or early 15th-century moulded plates and pole-plates. The roof of the S. porch incorporates two late 14th-century tie-beams and moulded wall-plates.
Fittings—Bell: one, said to be by Miles Graye, 1637. Inscriptions and Scratchings: On chancel —arch and arcades, rough mason's marks. On jambs of S. doorway, 15th-century graffiti. Monuments: In churchyard—S. of chancel, (1) to Elizabeth (Abbott), wife of James Stubbin, early 18th-century head-stone; (2) to Ann, wife of John Stubbin, 1711, head-stone. Niches: In S. aisle— flanking E. window, two, (1) square-headed recess, early 16th-century; (2) smaller recess, with four-centred head, probably early 16th-century; in jambs of N E. window, two with round heads, 15th-century. Panelling: Incorporated in modern pulpit, early 17th-century carved panels. Piscinae: In chancel—with cinquefoiled head and moulded label, shelf and sexfoiled drain, 14th-century. In N. aisle—in E. wall, with two-centred head moulded label and octofoiled drain, 14th-century. In S. aisle—in S. wall, with trefoiled segmental-pointed head and octofoiled drain, 15th-century.
a(2). At Moat Hall, ½ m. N.N.E. of the church.
a(3). At Houd's Farm, about 1 m. N. of the church.
b(4). Fordham Hall, house and barn, S.W. of the church. The House is of two storeys, timberframed and plastered; the roofs are tiled. It was built probably late in the 15th century with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends, but the whole building was much altered in the 17th century and there are modern additions at the back. The upper storey projects at the E. ends of the crosswings; on the N. wing there are 17th-century moulded brackets. Inside the building the main block has remains of the original roof and a plaster fragment is preserved, painted with foliage and the date 1586.
The Barn, E. of the house, is of the 17th century, timber-framed and weather-boarded and of seven bays.
Condition—Of house, good, much altered.
The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of the 17th century and of two storeys, timber-framed and plastered; the roofs are tiled or thatched. Several of the buildings have original chimney-stacks and exposed ceilingbeams.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b(5). Range of two cottages, E. of the church. Inside one cottage is a moulded ceiling-beam.
b(6). Cobb's Farm, house, 180 yards E. of (5).
b(7). Barnard's Farm, house, ¾ m. S.W. of the church, was built probably in the 15th century and has a cross-wing at the N. end. The upper storey projects at the E. end of the cross-wing, which has remains of the original of roof-construction.
b(8). Shoulder of Mutton Inn, 200 yards S.S.E. of (7), is of two storeys with attics. It was built in the 16th century with cross-wings at the N. and S. ends. The roof of the main block was raised in the 18th century and there are modern additions on the E. side. The main block has a modillioned eaves-cornice.
a(9). Cottage, on the S. side of the road, ½ m. N. of the church.
a(10). Archendine's Farm, house, ¼ m. W.N.W. of (9).
a(11). Cottage, on W. side of road, ¼ m. N. of (2).